Indigenous people began a four-day tribal gathering in the Amazon on Tuesday to plan their opposition to the fascist regime of Jair Bolsonaro, who is attempting to open indigenous land to commercial mining and agriculture.
Indigenous lands have been increasingly invaded by loggers and miners since Bolsonaro became president last year, leading to a rise in deforestation, fires and murders in several areas.
The far-right wing Bolsonaro is attempting to destroy the culture of the 900,000 indigenous people in Brazil through so-called “integration,” while also plundering indigenous land on the 462 reservations in the country.
Bolsonaro’s policies, if successful, would lead to the destruction of the Amazon jungle, the world’s largest tropical rainforest, which would also accelerate global climate change.
“The riches Bolsonaro speaks of are white man’s riches, to buy cars and planes and ranches. Our riches are in the forest and the rivers here,” Kayapó tribe leader Megaron Txucarramãe stated.
This week’s gathering at a village in the Xingu park was hosted by Kayapó chief Raoni Metuktire, who has been involved in environmental struggles since the 1980s.
“The year begins with this big meeting called by Raoni to draw up strategies to protect the Amazon from the threats, the criticism and the destruction that the Bolsonaro government is causing,” Sonia Guajajara, head of an umbrella group called the Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), said en route to Xingu in the frontier state of Mato Grosso.
Indigenous leaders wearing ceremonial body paint and headdresses of bird feathers performed ritual dances at the center of Raoni’s village to kick off the meeting.
Legislation drafted by Bolsonaro’s regime would not just open up reservation to mining, but also to oil and gas exploration, the building of new hydroelectric dams and commercial farms with genetically modified crops currently banned by law on tribal lands.
Indigenous communities would be consulted on economic projects, as stipulated in Brazil’s Constitution, but they would not have the power to veto projects decided by the government.
In the face of the fascist Bolsonaro regime and capitalist exploitation, indigenous people are planning fierce resistance to protect the Amazon.